* From a letter sent to ABC 7 news director Jennifer Graves…
I am State Senator Sam McCann, Conservative Party candidate for Governor. On Wednesday, October 3, ABC 7 Chicago will partner with the League of Women Voters of Illinois Education Fund and Univision Chicago for a debate of gubernatorial candidates. However, even though I am certified on the general election ballot as a candidate for governor, as it stands currently, I have been informed that I will not be allowed to participate in the debate. To that end, I respectfully request a reconsideration of this decision.
Recently, I took part in a gubernatorial debate hosted by NBC 5 Chicago and Telemundo. There, it was clear, both live on the debate stage and through the media coverage that followed, that my message is a voice for conservative voters and an integral part of the conversation regarding Illinois’ future.
Across the country, especially in Illinois, citizens are demanding more inclusiveness, transparency and fair play in our political process. Today most voters reject an outdated approach that recognizes only franchised, establishment candidates in the competition for votes. Furthermore, one of the tenets of the League of Women Voters of Illinois, a debate co-sponsor, is the notion that informed and active participation by citizen voters is essential to building and maintaining a productive, honest, and inclusive political environment.
At a time when the candidates of both major parties are pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into this race, the people of Illinois deserve an opportunity to hear from all the candidates for governor, not just the two who can afford to hijack the TV airways. Despite their obscene spending, the two major party candidates continue to be viewed net unfavorably according to recent public polls. I proudly speak for millions of Illinoisans who believe that two billionaire candidates do not represent the interests of working people and believe we should have elections – not auctions.
Excluding any bona fide candidates would be in direct contradiction of the LWV’s mission of encouraging an informed and active citizenry and ensuring equitable competition for candidates. Therefore, I respectfully request that ABC 7 Chicago reconsider its decision to exclude me from its October 3 debate; any decision otherwise is simply a disservice to the citizens of Illinois.
Sen. Sam McCann Candidate for Governor
* The Question: Should McCann be allowed into the ABC 7 debate? Take the poll and then explain your answer in comments, please.